On September 4, 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that, as a matter of public health, she would ban the use of flavored e-cigarettes. That would make Michigan the first-ever state to ban the cigarette alternative. This 6-month exercise of executive authority was apparently in response to the findings of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief that vaping amongst the youth constitutes an emergency.
The bold governor raised this in hopes that she can impose the ban long enough for it to be written into law. The ban was set in effect on October 2, 2019.
E-cigarettes and the Youth
How did this issue between vaping and the youth come to light? According to several studies gathered by the U.S. Surgeon General, while there has been substantial progress in reducing cigarette use, the same is not for tobacco products.
Tobacco use remains prominent due to the introduction of a variety of tobacco products over the years, including e-cigarettes. Since its introduction in 2007, tobacco use among the youth has sky-rocketed and increased by 900% from 2011 to 2015. In fact, the use of e-cigarettes among high school students increased by 78% from 11.7% in 2017 to 20.8% in 2018.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, considered these as bases for her advice to the governor. She adds that aside from the increased use of vape among the youth, flavors are specifically catered to attract children. She argues that tobacco products in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavors have become attractive and addicting to children. Take the flavor “Fruit Loops,” for example.
What does the Ban Cover?
Michigan’s ban focuses on curbing the use of e-cigarettes among teens. Not all e-cigarettes are banned, only flavored vapes that may draw in teens. That means that all flavored vapes, even the menthol e-cigarettes, are banned, except for tobacco flavored e-cigarettes.
That caused a massive outcry among vape store owners as the ban would kill businesses and cause millions of losses, especially to those who have invested in the vaping industry. Not only that, one owner even states that with the loss of flavored e-cigarettes, it becomes even harder for tobacco addicts to kick the habit. He argues that it’s the various flavors appeal more to them.
While this doesn’t punish the users considering possession or buying from a different state are not punishable, the act of selling and advertising is strictly prohibited. Selling alone is regarded as a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $200, 6 months imprisonment, or both for each violation.
Current State of the Vaping Industry
Quite recently, the vaping industry has been put in hot water after news in August of 215 possible severe lung disease cases were associated with e-cigarette use. Considering the lack of research and studies on the effects of vaping, U.S. health officials are now investigating these cases.
Authorities want to determine if there is a clear relationship between the illness and the products or substances used by patients with this condition. However, the link remains unclear. Some of these patients are found to have THC and CBD compounds present in cannabis in their system. Continuing studies between the patients and substances remain inconclusive. However, the state had considered the recent death of a patient from Illinois as a vape related death.
The decision of the Michigan governor is apparently not only based on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It is also based on the imminent and emergent circumstances surrounding vape use in general.
Chance for Reversal
Just this October 15, 2019, a Michigan Court of Claims judge issued a preliminary injunction over the state’s temporary six-month ban on flavored vapes. A vape shop owner’s request prompted this ruling through his testimony that e-cigarettes have helped him stop smoking after 41 years.
In a statement released by the Michigan governor, she said that the decision was wrong and that she will seek remedy from the Michigan Supreme Court.
Legal Advice and Help from Reliable Lansing Criminal Lawyers
If you are a seller seeking to protect your livelihood from this flavored vape ban or a confessed nicotine addict trying to switch to e-cigarettes to kick the habit, this news is a cause for alarm. If you want to raise your opinions and prevent the ban, know that you will always have legal remedies available to you.
Choose a law firm that has years of litigation experience and vast legal knowledge. Contact the Lansing criminal attorneys at The Clark Law Office today. Our firm has been in the service of the public for more than 20 years. We pride ourselves in defending and protecting the people’s rights. Call us today for a free initial consultation.